Friday, February 22, 2013


So I'm starting to get frustrated with myself.   I'm not gaining, but I'm not losing.  Jumping on the carb train while I was recovering totally derailed my progress and distracted me with the joys of empty nutrition. 

I'm eating healthy salads daily for lunch but I have this crazy salt craving right after that can only be satisfied by pretzels or chips.  I try to fight it, but I'm stuck in the routine and it's rough.

Tomorrow I start working out again.  My gym bag is packed and I'm going as soon as I wake up and eat something.  Hopefully working out will kick my metabolism back into super burn mode - which I was in before the diverticulitis derailment.  Maybe I need to do a few days on juice only again to restart my system.  My goal was to lose 15 more pounds by spring break, but I'm not sure that will happen now because I've been literally within a pound up or down for the last two weeks.  Very frustrating.  So frustrating that I seem to be writing in sentence fragments. 

I also need to start writing here more often.  I think it really helps to get everything down on "paper" and see my goals.  It also makes me remember the motto of a former Weight Watchers leader  - If you bite it, write it.  Doing this keeps me on track.  I think I'll start using My Fitness Pal again, too.  That really helped me see how many calories I ate and helped me think twice before impulse eating. 

Ready, Set, Go....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One foot off the wagon

So I'm not doing so great with eating super healthy these last few days.  I have stayed true to my vegan ways, but have not been juicing.  I am in a lazy rut right now being home so many days in a row.  I'm back to work tomorrow and back to making juice for breakfast.  Hopefully I have enough good veg in the fridge to make a decent juice.  Grocery store after school for sure.

I made the torta roll pizza for lunch today.  This time, I took a picture.  That's what health bloggers do, right?  Take pictures of their food?

I honestly don't even miss the cheese anymore.  Really.  Truly.  I mean it.  Oh who am I kidding.  I miss the cheese a lot, but it still tasted awesome.  I have just learned that I need to rely on stronger flavors like onions and my new addiction Chipotle Tabasco Sauce.  Yum.  As long as it tastes good, I can't really miss anything, right?

So back to work tomorrow and back to making healthier choices again.  Time to get back on the wagon with both feet and hit my next goal:  15 more pounds by Spring Break.  Totally doable.  I have 8 1/2 weeks.  Ready, Set, Juice!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Picking myself up

OK, so after 2 weeks of antibiotics, and a low residue (read: white bread and pasta, no veggies or fruit) I can start eating somewhat normal again.  Yesterday, I ate some potato chips and salsa and some salad (risky) at my friend's little girl's birthday party.  I probably over did the veg a little, but I was so happy to be eating plant-based matter again, that I didn't really care.  There was some cheese in the salad, but I didn't worry too much about it.  Again - vegetables = priority.

My 2 weeks of antibiotics started with a 5 day juice fast and minibreak from school.  This was the longest liquid diet I have ever done - including the 4 days I was in the hospital 3 years ago.  They let me have a grilled cheese the last day.  Lucky me.

It wasn't so bad.  The hardest day was day 4 because I had a basketball tournament 45 minutes away.  I spent about an hour chopping and juicing the night before so I had everything I needed.  I made a giant thermos of Moroccan Mint Green Tea to help with the heartburn I was getting from the lemon in my juice that I put in there to help with the GROSS taste in my mouth from one of my medicines.  Such a fun few days, let me tell you.  While there, I said no to going to Portillo's with my fellow coaches and players because I didn't think I could handle it.  I love Portillo's and I just wanted to chew food.  Too many temptations for sure.  So instead, I opted to stay back with the two kids who would rather eat chicken nuggets.  Weirdos.  We ended up with silver in the tournament so we are headed to the Special Olympics Illinois State Basketball Tournament in Bloomington-Normal in March.  Whoo-Hoo!

Things got better once I started eating food again.  The heartburn went away, but interestingly, I had less energy.  It think the amount of nutrients I was getting eating all the processed white flour didn't measure up to the amount of goodness in my juice.  Thanks again Joe Cross (@JoetheJuicer).

I did gain a few pounds back - but I'm not taking it too badly.  I know when I get back up to eating a giant Mason jar salad for lunch again, it will all come right off again.  Gastroenterologist said I should work myself up to eating "normally" by February 1.  10 days to go...

Tonight's dinner was pizza made from a Torta roll, spaghetti sauce, onion and chunks of Tofurky Italian sausage.  I did put some vegan mozzarella "cheese" on it, but not a lot.  It didn't need it and it didn't "melt like real cheese" as it claimed to on the package.  Jerks.  I should have taken a picture but I don't have my iPhone right now because it is getting repaired by Best Buy.  I got a stupid little loaner Android that is making me crazy.  Maybe I'll make it for lunch again tomorrow sans "cheese."

So moral of this story is that I think I'm done feeling sorry for myself.  It's not worth it and it just makes me spend too much time on my couch and not enough time living. 

On a side note:  Say Happy Birthday to Payton! (yesterday, but she will still say "Thanks!")

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


So I knew it would happen, the other shoe would drop.  It always does.  It seems like every time I make progress toward getting healthy, something happens that derails me.  I get injured so I can't work out, I get sick, I need surgery, blah blah blah. 

Yesterday, the shoe dropped.  I went to the doctor because I was having abdominal pain and bloating and a lot of pressure and, not to over share, but nothing was doing what it was supposed to be doing, if you get my drift.  She sent me for a CT scan and then called me with the most devastating news I have gotten in a long time.  My diverticulitis is back. 

Three years ago, I was first diagnosed.  I had an attack in October, another in January that landed me in the hospital and then another shortly there after which got me referred to a surgeon whom I now call Dr. Moron.  I call him this because not only did he reschedule my surgery for March 17 (Yes, Kelly O'Reilly's surgery for St. Patrick's Day/My sister's birthday) because of "scheduling conflicts (i.e. golf outing out of town I'm sure), but he also told me that I had a less than 5% chance of a re-occurrence.  Well guess what?  I've now beaten the odds on many things in life.  I got a bum gall bladder, been hit by a car, was the youngest patient my gastroenterologist ever had with diverticulitis and now it's back.  Maybe I should start playing the lottery...

So anyway, I was toying with the idea of doing a juice fast for a few days anyway so I figured this would be the perfect time.  Last time, my Dr. told me "Clear liquids for 48 hours."  This time, she said I could make juice as long as I strained it well.

Today was day one.  Also day one of the gross antibiotics that have the following side effects:
appetite loss, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, metallic taste, nausea, stomach upset, vomiting.  Yay.  The metallic taste is the worst.  It makes food taste bad and nothing helps - except sucking on Werther's caramels but they have milk in them and will probably upset things again (see Off the Wagon Post). 

I spent today on my couch, drinking juice and feeling sorry for myself.  Hopefully I will just need one more day home to rest up and get the antibiotics working enough that the pain subsides so I can go back to work.  I do miss the little buggers...

Here is what I made and what I thought of it.  No pictures because that took more effort than I felt I wanted to put into anything.  Except sitting.

3 handfuls spinach
1 cucumber
2 carrots
2 green apples
2 stalks celery

Not bad, but not awesome.  I could drink it again.  This is an untainted review as I took my first dose of meds with it so the metallic taste hadn't started yet.

4 stalks celery
2 carrots
1 green apple
1 cucumber
1 half inch slice of a beet
2 plum (Roma) tomatoes (seeded of course)

Eh, probably would have been better with less celery.  I think 4 was too much with only 1 apple to balance the peppery flavor.  Slight metallic taste at this point in the day...

2 stalks celery
1 cup cantaloupe cubes
2 carrots
1 half inch slice of a beet
1/2 cup pineapple chunks (fresh)

Definitely won't be mixing cantaloupe and celery again.  I was pretty sure this was a bad idea from the start, but I'm trying to use the fruits and veggies that I so lovingly prepped on Sunday for the week.  Since I can't eat them straight, (fiber = bad during flare up) I need to juice them.

I have a follow up appointment with my doctor tomorrow - fingers crossed...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Off the wagon...

So, after 6 weeks, I fell off the vegan wagon.  Did you know that Friday was National Spaghetti Day?  Neither did I until I saw a tweet from Giada DeLaurentis with an amazing sounding spaghetti recipe.  I was having dinner at a friends anyway so I sent her the recipe and she decided it sounded good too, so that's what was for dinner.  Here's the recipe:

Now, tell me that doesn't sound amazing?  We improvised a little - left out the zest (because I forgot it), used fresh lemon juice from my juicer, added cherry tomatoes and used 1/3 cup regular EVOO and 1/3 cup Basil Olive Oil which I got at my new favorite store The Olive Tap Crystal Lake.  

I decided that a little bit of Parmesan never hurt anyone, so I went for it.  Bad idea.  Let's just say, my tummy is not happy with me and I have been paying for the last few days. 

So, at least now I know that I cannot cheat here and there.  This is a good thing for me because if I know I can cheat, I will.  

While I have stayed true to my 99% Vegan ways, I have not been as cautious about portion sizes and snacking while on winter break.  I have eaten at a few restaurants and had quite a few drinks (read: Tequila shots on New Year's Eve).  I only lost about 3 or 4 pounds since school let out for break.  I'm getting back on track tomorrow.  Here's how I'm starting off...

Last night I spent a good amount of time prepping food for the week.  I washed, chopped, diced, peeled just about everything I had in my fridge and got nice and organized so making juices will be easy and preparing healthy dinners will be, too.  I made 5 of my new favorite go-to lunches: Mason Jar salads.  Cliche, I know, but tasty.  This week's recipe includes:

Cherry Tomatoes
Green Pepper
1/2 Cup Quinoa
Spring Mix Salad
Honey Chipotle dressing:
  • 1/3 Cup Chipotle Olive Oil (from The Olive Tap)
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Olive Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Honey Balsamic Vinegar (from The Olive Tap)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Put it all in a jar - seal it up and shake like crazy

  I think they look pretty good if I do say so myself.  The key to these is to put the hearty stuff on the bottom with the dressing, then put some sort of divider like cheese, quinoa, pasta, whatever and then the lettuce on top.  I have had them keep for 6 days in the fridge if they don't get tipped.  I don't eat them out of the jar - I dump it all in a bowl and mix it up.

Also, I got baskets to organize my refrigerator because it is really annoying to have a bunch of bags of vegetables all layered on top of one another on the bottom shelf.
Looks good, huh?

Hopefully all of the prepping I did yesterday and today will get me off to a great start for this half of the school year.  I'm going to start making my juices at night to save time in the morning even though I know you are supposed to drink it right away.  The way I see it, if making it the night before means I will drink it, then that's what I'm going to do.  Maybe someday I'll be a morning person...maybe.  Probably not...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday morning Breakfast

This morning I thought I would try something different for my breakfast juice. I wanted to do simple yet flavorful and I think I accomplished my goal.

Here's what I did:

2 Green apples
3 carrots
1 inch ginger
3 kale leaves
1/2 inch slice of a beet

This is a spin off of's Carrot-Apple-Ginger which I like a lot. I've decided I don't like beets (yet) but I had some cut up from Friday that I felt bad throwing away so I thought I could hide it in this one. It worked. I've learned that ginger and lemon can hide just about anything.

I'm attempting to post some pictures for the first time so I hope this works.. I promise that the pictures will get better once my house is clean and I'm back to full health.

This recipe made 16 oz of juice. It's not too pretty but it tastes pretty damn good.

Now I'm enjoying my juice while relaxing in bed watching Da Bears, praying this isn't their last game of the season. I'm also hoping that one more lazy day is all I need to totally get over this cold. I could breathe when I woke up this morning so I'm taking that as a good sign.


So far, my juices have either come from or have just been random concoctions that I have thrown together.  I started this whole thing after watching the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" by Joe Cross.  He chronicles his 60 day juice fast in which he loses over 80 pounds and basically cures himself of an autoimmune disease by consuming nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juice.  I think I like chewing too much to do something that drastic, but I thought that replacing one meal a day with juice would still provide beneficial.  For the most part, I have been drinking juice for breakfast every day.  For the first few weeks, I drank Joe Cross's "Mean Green" which is:

1 bunch Kale
1 whole cucumber
1/2 lemon
1 inch ginger
2 green apples
4 stalks celery

I added either 1 orange or 2 clementines at first because it wasn't quite sweet enough for me as a breakfast.  It definitely tastes like you are drinking a salad, but after a few days, I really grew to enjoy the flavor of this juice.  It made about 32 oz of juice - which was a lot more than I expected.  Because of the sheer amount of juice, I found that it kept me pretty satisfied until lunch as long as I drank it slowing over the course of the morning starting at about 8.  Some days I am hungrier than others and will sometimes eat a snack of veggies and hummus or peanut butter with my students around 9:30 or 10:00, but a few days, I would just be too busy and not feel the need to eat anything.

A new favorite for me is the Apple, Carrot, Ginger from  This juice is just as easy as it sounds - a few green apples, a couple carrots and a chunk of ginger.  It's a little spicy from the ginger and very refreshing.  This recipe only makes about 1 normal sized tumbler full of juice though so it doesn't hold me off until lunch without a snack. 

Last week, I tried the Gazpacho juice from  Here is the recipe:

4 plum tomatoes
1 large cucumber
2 celery stalks
1 red bell pepper
1/2 small red onion
2 cups parsley
1 lime

While it isn't getting the best reviews on the reboot mesage boards ("WORST JUICE EVER!") I kinda liked it.  It is pretty ugly - an odd brown color, but it "smells like a salad" according to a friend of mine.  I accidently left out the onion, but it tasted like gazpacho. I would make it again, but might add some jalepeno for a bit of a kick next time per the advice of a message board poster.

That's it for tonight.  I'll post whatever I come up with for breakfast tomorrow and maybe some pictures.